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 Message Boards » » best set-top box (for no subscriptions) Page [1]  
theDuke866
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My Gen-3 AppleTV died.

What's the best set-top box for someone who doesn't want to pay any subscriptions and doesn't watch much TV? I primarily watch news, TED talks, documentaries on PBS/Smithsonian/etc, and some sports.

6/3/2017 10:03:31 PM

smoothcrim
Universal Magnetic!
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nvidia shield + hdhomerun for hardware, kodi for software

6/4/2017 9:01:40 AM

OmarBadu
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2nd the shield - I use SPMC over Kodi but unless you are playing 4K videos you shouldn't notice a difference

6/4/2017 9:14:16 AM

theDuke866
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hmm, maybe I should redefine "best"? I really mean "best for my very modest desires."

That looks awesome, but I would probably use 5% of the capability. Really, I just want to watch basically the things I listed, and I want to do it for free, and that's pretty much all I need, haha.

I don't need games or anything; I have a PS3 that MAYBE gets used once per year, haha. I'm not interested in anything that it can do that requires any sort of payment or subscription.

[Edited on June 4, 2017 at 11:50 AM. Reason : ]

6/4/2017 11:49:30 AM

BigMan157
Suspended
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you can install kodi on a fire tv stick

6/4/2017 6:24:30 PM

smoothcrim
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you could also buy the now discontinued nexus player android TV for ~$40-60 and do the same thing if you don't care about a wired connection or 4k. With the shield I at least know the software will get updates for a long time coming and for something I can't easily secure myself that sits on my network, that's valuable to me.

6/4/2017 10:10:27 PM

Bobby Light
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Kodi on firestick is slow as balls. I'd recommend an actual Fire TV if you're going that route. One time small expense for a faster interface.

6/6/2017 11:25:53 AM

dtownral
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i prefer plex, its easier to setup, but i don't know if there is a channel or anything for TED tanks. for the rest get an antenna.

[Edited on June 6, 2017 at 12:46 PM. Reason : .]

6/6/2017 12:46:27 PM

Bobby Light
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Yup. Antenna got me almost all local channels (including in HD). And Plex was awesome with my Roku. Roku is wayyyy > than AppleTV (non jailbroken)

6/6/2017 12:59:53 PM

synapse
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Quote :
"And Plex was awesome with my Roku. Roku is wayyyy > than AppleTV"


The new Apple TVs have apps, including a Plex app, which works beautifully. I do wish I had Rokus instead of the old non-jailbroken Apple TVs before this though as Plex Connect was pretty annoying (but still a good solution).

6/6/2017 2:26:01 PM

synapse
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Quote :
"hmm, maybe I should redefine "best"? I really mean "best for my very modest desires."

That looks awesome, but I would probably use 5% of the capability. Really, I just want to watch basically the things I listed, and I want to do it for free, and that's pretty much all I need, haha. "


Just get an antenna if you don't already have one and a new Apple TV since that's what you had before...plus with the new one you can install apps on it.

6/6/2017 2:27:21 PM

Bobby Light
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I have a Roku 3, Apple TV 3, Apple TV 1's (regular AND jailbroken), Amazon Fire Stick (rooted with Kodi installed), a Vizio TV, and a WD TV Live.

They each basically do the exact damn thing, with some nuances here and there. But as far as processing speed and lag, the Roku 3 wins hands down. I WANT to like my Apple TV's more, as I have iphones and macbooks as my main machines in my home, but it just sucks balls.

I ALWAYS go for the Roku 3.

6/6/2017 8:52:31 PM

synapse
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Quote :
" I WANT to like my Apple TV's more, as I have iphones and macbooks as my main machines in my home, but it just sucks balls."


I'm not sure if I've mentioned yet but the new one is way better.

[Edited on June 6, 2017 at 9:40 PM. Reason : except getting rid of the optical audio out. that's annoying.]

6/6/2017 9:40:15 PM

El Nachó
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Rokus are for tech illiterate people who only want to watch Netflix.

Fire TVs are the current best way to go. Stick if you want to cheap out, actual FTV if you don't mind spending a little more for a better product. Add a $15 bluetooth controller and it also doubles as a surprisingly decent video game console for the kiddos. Install Kodi and have access to all the things for free and still be able to use your TV as a 2nd screen/mirror setup for your Mac or PC. Rokus do approximately none of that.

6/7/2017 10:52:27 PM

smoothcrim
Universal Magnetic!
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miracast is mostly garbage protocol. I wouldn't put that as a selling point for a firetv

6/8/2017 5:35:45 PM

El Nachó
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Fair enough, I haven't actually tried it with a PC. Airplay with a Mac/iPhone works flawlessly for me though. Just as good as an Apple TV.

6/8/2017 11:32:41 PM

V0LC0M
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Quote :
"Rokus are for tech illiterate people who only want to watch Netflix. "

6/19/2017 4:44:21 PM

El Nachó
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I mean, I guess they work fine for tech literate people to watch Netflix too.

6/21/2017 2:00:42 AM

HOOPS SHALOM
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^i bet you are fun at parties.

7/3/2017 8:10:44 PM

jbrick83
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Can you watch the major local channels (abc/cbs/nbc/fox) LIVE, without an HD antenna? Is there a sling/network app/etc setup that would allow me to watch live local news and NFL football when the season rolls around?

7/12/2017 10:23:55 AM

smoothcrim
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not exactly. you can get an hd antenna and hook it up to an hdhomerun and your wired network, then you can consume the stream on almost any device in your network via native apps, plex, kodi, windows media center, etc

7/12/2017 2:07:51 PM

jbrick83
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Just looked that up...seems legit.

I'm guessing the biggest hurdle will be to find a place I can set-up the HD antenna to where it gets signal, but it hidden. At least with the hdhomerun, it doesn't have to be attached to the TV. So I need to find a place that close to the router to get good wifi (so I can't put it two stories away in the attic), but also in a spot to get solid antenna signal. Might as well order it and give it a shot.

7/12/2017 2:24:58 PM

smoothcrim
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you need to put it on a wired network. if you have coax in the house that you don't use, use it for networking with moca or directv deca. you can get decas on amazon for like $5

7/12/2017 4:48:49 PM

jbrick83
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From what I've researched, you don't need that with the basic box. Plug the homerun in, hook it up to HD Antenna, and either set it up on your wifi or hook up to router with ethernet cord. I have coax cable running from past cable hook-ups, but in all of the reviews and set-up videos, it never mentioned needing that.

7/12/2017 5:00:36 PM

smoothcrim
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yes, I'm saying put the device on a wired network and if you don't have a wired network, you can use coax for one (with decas or mocas). OTA tv is raw mpeg2 and trying to move 3 streams of that over wifi is asking for trouble

7/12/2017 7:12:23 PM

jbrick83
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3 streams overall or 3 streams at the same time? We only ever have one TV on at the same time. I could probably count on two hands the number of times we've had more than one TV on simultaneously in the last 5 years.

Regardless..thanks for the info. It'll be trial and error from here on out.



On a side note...Fire Stick came in today. I feel like an idiot, but I had no idea that it needed a power cord. We're wanting to use it for the smaller kitchen TV...and here's another cord we have to hide.

So far, I really like the interface. If this HDhomerun works out, we'll probably keep the set-up...just have to get clever with hiding the wires.

7/12/2017 7:50:48 PM

afripino
All American
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No usb port on the back of the TV to power that sumbitch?

7/12/2017 9:27:55 PM

ShawnaC123
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Quote :
"Can you watch the major local channels (abc/cbs/nbc/fox) LIVE, without an HD antenna? Is there a sling/network app/etc setup that would allow me to watch live local news and NFL football when the season rolls around?

"


There's a Roku app (Probably on other services too) called US TV Now that's supposedly meant for overseas military members. It streams Pennsylvania local channels to watch so you could get big games that air in every market and might be okay if the team you like is based near there. Probably not what you're looking for, but it's free. I just use it for the network channels for stuff I can't get on Hulu the next day or if I feel like watching it live as it airs. Plus now I can watch Jeopardy if I feel like it.

7/12/2017 9:36:41 PM

jbrick83
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Quote :
"No usb port on the back of the TV to power that sumbitch?

"


There is...but its right below the HDMI port. They're so close together that I don't even know if it will fit. Regardless, you still would have an ugly loop of wire sticking out. It's easier to hide the wire behind the TV into the plug/outlet.

7/13/2017 7:00:29 AM

smoothcrim
Universal Magnetic!
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if hiding the wires is so important, you could save money on devices and swap your tvs for android tvs. they have the "live channels" app as part of the OS which is an hd homerun client

7/13/2017 8:29:18 AM

jbrick83
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Eh...the only area where it's been a chore is the kitchen TV...everywhere else I wired myself years ago to be behind walls. And the kitchen TV is small...which I found to be a very limited selection in TVs.

I think we figured the wiring situation out last night. We'll see what happens when the homerun comes in.

7/13/2017 9:20:17 AM

afripino
All American
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just get this short ass cable and no loops to deal with
https://www.amazon.com/CableJive-microStubz-Smartphones-Tablets-Blackberry/dp/B00578KYZG

7/13/2017 3:43:47 PM

smoothcrim
Universal Magnetic!
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did it work?

7/26/2017 8:44:08 PM

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